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  1. #1
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    Are religious communities necessary?

    Is it necessary to be part of a religious community in order to fully experience a relationship with God?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by mucislovebp View Post
    Is it necessary to be part of a religious community in order to fully experience a relationship with God?
    Now that's an excellent question!

    It links to a train of thought that has been filling my mind the last week or so. I was on a 1000 mile road trip to Reno to witness my niece's wedding and my wife Rose and I had lots of time to talk on the phone and the topic of sychronicity began to dominate. And then it morphed into ideas about how a single person is not able to see Reality alone, in isolation, because there are aspects of Reality that require two different points of view to become visible. Many metaphors began to spring to mind - the most vivid being stereoscopic vision. A single eye sees only a 2D field. The third dimension becomes visible only when another eye looks at the same reality from a slightly different angle and then cooperates with the first eye so that the two images are overlapped in the mind so that the soul becomes aware of the third dimension.

    Thus, there is a fundamental aspect of reality that is literally invisible to a single eye. To see in 3D, we must have two eyes. A single eye has not depth perception.

    I think this is a metaphor for a greater reality. A single "I" can not see the "depth" of God in isolation. To see the depth of God, we must have another "I" that sees things a little differently than our own "I" but also cooperates in unity with our "I." But the other "I" can not be too different since that would be like a person with crossed eyes that not only can not see 3D, but actually conflict with each other because each eye is focused on very different aspects of reality.

    So in answer to your question, I would say "yes" - a community of at least one other person is required to experience God to any significant depth. I think this is a key to understanding the necessity of the Trinity. God has "depth" only because He is a Trinity of personality. That is why He can be the source of Love, for He is love. Without a relational nature "built into" God, there would be no ontological ground for love.

    But does it need to be a "religious" community? I would say "no" since I'm not sure what you mean by "religious community" though I would say "yes" if you mean a community which enables you to communicate your sense of God in your life. If you are with people that are entirely carnal - focused merely on physical life - then they will not be functioning as another "cooperative" eye/I to help you see the depths of God.



    All this makes me think of this famous verse:
    Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
    That was a very synchronsignificant question!

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

  3. #3

    Body life in Ephesians

    Ephesians 3:14-19 (NASB)
    14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,
    15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name,
    16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,
    17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
    18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
    19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

    Ephesians 4:15-16 (NASB)
    15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,
    16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.

    I really appreciate the depth of the Ephesian letter. It adresses so much in the believer's life. "Body life" is of great importance. Finding genuine fellowship is not so easy.

    Hugh391

  4. #4
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    Hey bp, I think that the answer can only come from personal experience. Having been there for a number of years now in a "community," I would say... it definitely is Biblical and healthy and helps. God is an eternal community Himself, think about it.
    "But now the priestly service Jesus has been given to do is far superior to the Levites', just as the covenant He mediates in better. For this New Covenant has been given as Torah on the basis of better promises." Hebrews 8:6.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by eliyahu View Post
    Hey bp, I think that the answer can only come from personal experience. Having been there for a number of years now in a "community," I would say... it definitely is Biblical and healthy and helps. God is an eternal community Himself, think about it.
    Hey there Eliyahu!

    Great to see you stopped by for a visit. How are things going?

    Your insight about God as a community makes sense to me! I think of the Trinity as the root source of Love - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. If God were absolutely singular there might not be such a thing as love.

    It would be interesting to learn more about the community you lived in when you feel like sharing.

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

  6. #6
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    Hey RAM, you still reading this thread?
    "But now the priestly service Jesus has been given to do is far superior to the Levites', just as the covenant He mediates in better. For this New Covenant has been given as Torah on the basis of better promises." Hebrews 8:6.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by eliyahu View Post
    Hey RAM, you still reading this thread?
    Hi Eliyahu,

    Yeah, I'm back. I've been super busy with ten hour days of work and when I do get a chance to post something, I have been answering some oppositions to the Bible Wheel over on a thread on www.christian-forum.net.

    But as for this thread specifically ... I don't have anything to add right now. I just wanted to drop in becuase I've gone missing from this forum for a couple weeks.

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

  8. #8
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    Dec 2007
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    Cool. I went to that other forum and whew! You really go after it with these people too! I joined it. Thanks for the connection there. Are they preterists types too or is there a mix of views more over there? Are they cessationists when it comes to the Holy Spirit? Are they "Calvanist" types?
    "But now the priestly service Jesus has been given to do is far superior to the Levites', just as the covenant He mediates in better. For this New Covenant has been given as Torah on the basis of better promises." Hebrews 8:6.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by eliyahu View Post
    Cool. I went to that other forum and whew! You really go after it with these people too! I joined it. Thanks for the connection there. Are they preterists types too or is there a mix of views more over there? Are they cessationists when it comes to the Holy Spirit? Are they "Calvanist" types?
    Ha! Yeah, things get pretty hot some times in the pursuit of truth. I have found every variety of eschatology over there, but don't recall if I have encountered any "Calvinists" per se. I was surprised to find that more than a few understood the Olivet Discourse as fulfilled in 70 AD.

    What's your username over there?
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

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